Shep Smith Fact-Checks Trump: ‘Not True’ That G7 Removed Russia Because Putin ‘Outsmarted’ Obama

Shep Smith Fact-Checks Trump: ‘Not True’ That G7 Removed Russia Because Putin ‘Outsmarted’ Obama

It must be a bit exhausting for Shep Smith, laboring in the bowels of Donald Trump-loving Fox News, to have to keep fact-checking the president’s lies.

Yet there he was on Monday afternoon undertaking the Sisyphean task in the wake of Trump’s press conference to close out the G7 summit, this time explaining to his audience that no, Russia did not get kicked out of the G7 — then known as the G8 — because President Obama was mad that Vladimir Putin had “outsmarted” him:

“President Trump says the Russians were removed from the group because President Putin outsmarted President Obama. That is not true. The decision to remove Russia from the group was unanimous. The reason? Putin invaded and annexed Crimea…Then, in 2016 and 2018, the Russians interfered in the American elections. According to American intelligence agencies, they are interfering today. France’s President Macron today cited that as the reason Putin cannot be readmitted.”

This was at least the second time in recent days that Trump has made the “outsmarted” charge. He told reporters last Tuesday that Obama had wanted Putin out of the G8 because the Russian president had outsmarted him, though Trump did not tie this alleged outsmarting to Putin’s invasion of Crimea.

Given a few days to massage the message, Trump managed to tie the charge to the invasion.

The comments are another example of how Trump sees everything, even geopolitical conflict, in personal terms. It is unimaginable to him that Obama and the rest of the G8 leaders might have punished Russia for a destablilizing and illegal action that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths (and counting). No, it must have been because Obama’s ego was wounded by Putin outsmarting him somehow.

Needless to say, it is unclear what Trump thinks Obama should have done to stop Russia’s invasion. But in Trump’s mind, he has befriended Putin and is not weak like he thinks Obama was; therefore Putin would never have dared invade Crimea if Trump had been in office.

For a guy who has made “America First” one of his catchphrases, Trump certainly is happy to toss recent American presidents under the bus in favor of sucking up to a Russian autocrat. Which is perhaps another reason Shep Smith seemed annoyed to have to once again correct an egregious presidential falsehood.

Watch the video above, via Fox News.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.